Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've used Ubuntu for over a year now and I have never gotten the hang of tarballs.

I have a .tar.bz2, I've extracted it but I can't figure out where to go from here. I tried running ./configure but I got No such file or directory.

There's a folder called config; I'm not sure of the significance of that, though, or what I should do with it.

There's no README or anything like that.

Any ideas?

Edit Here's the directory hierarchy:


share|improve this question
What is it that you're trying to install? – Mitch Sep 12 '13 at 10:19
What package is this? What files and folders are in the .tar.bz2? You should try and follow instructions from where you got the package. – minerz029 Sep 12 '13 at 10:19
Can you please extract the archive and include in the question the file list of this archvie? You can do this by running ls into the directory where you extract the archive and posting the output. – PeppeDAlterio Sep 12 '13 at 10:20
Those are modules for wifi (BCM4312?) or router (dd-wrt) or somehing like that. Please include such information next time you ask something. And also show us where you got it from please. – Rinzwind Sep 12 '13 at 10:33
@Whatever All of the comments asked for specific information in order to improve the post and make it useful to the community. Thank you for responding to the request from PeppeDAlterio. Please help us help you by responding to the others as well – Elder Geek Jun 17 '14 at 19:20

A "tarball" is the archive format output by the tar command (man tar). It can contain files, directories, files in directories, ...

A file called something.tar.bz2 is probably a tar archive, compressed with bzip2 (man bzip2). You can check with the file command (man file).

You can see the contents of something.tar.bz2 with tar tvjf something.tar.bz2, and extract it to the current directory with tar xjvf something.tar.bz2. After you have extracted the files (and directories, and ...) is the time to look for README, INSTALL, or whatever, to hint at the next step.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.